Catholic education of school-age children - electronic version ISBN 978-0-473-27170-1

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Catholic education of school-age children - electronic version ISBN 978-0-473-27170-1

The Catholic Education of School-Age Children73. The Catholic School 33 makes very clear that the role of the Catholic school is to promote“growth of the virtues characteristic of the Christian”. The student who has encounteredChrist and is growing in knowledge and understanding naturally grows into a virtuous life,because Christ is being formed in him or her. Virtue deriving from the relationship withChrist himself is thus always a guaranteed authentic component of witness, and so grows inevery stage in the journey of discipleship.Community and the common good74. Each Catholic school is a community within the larger community of the diocese and theChurch in Aotearoa New Zealand. The community dimension of a Catholic school embracesstudents, parents, teachers, priests, and benefactors, and is “not a merely sociologicalcategory; it has a theological foundation as well” 34 :“From the outset the Catholic school declares its programme and its determination to upholdit. It is a genuine community bent on imparting, over and above an academic education, allthe help it can to its members to adopt a Christian way of life. For the Catholic school mutualrespect means service to the Person of Christ. Cooperation is between brothers and sisters inChrist. A policy of working for the common good is undertaken seriously as working for thebuilding up of the Kingdom of God.” 3575. The community of each Catholic school is part of the mission of the Church, an agent of thatmission among the people – Catholic and others – who live in the area served by the school.The communal dimension of the life of the school is essential in fostering a commitment tothe common good among all involved in the local school community.76. Because the school is an arm of the parish or a group of parishes, the school is part of alarger pastoral community. The school “fulfils its vocation to be a genuine experience ofChurch only if it takes its stand within the organic pastoral work of the Christian community.”36Within a diocese a common good ethos and practice must underlie the relationshipsbetween all the parishes and schools, as all ultimately participate in the teaching ministry ofthe Church. A strong commitment to the common good should unite and support parish andschool in carrying out their individual roles and the role they share.77. Parishes are often questioned – sometimes by schools – about not providing worship andpastoral ministry which is attractive to young people. The non-participation of youngCatholics in parishes is a chicken and egg situation. The parishes reflect the age groups33 Congregation for Catholic Education, The Catholic School 3734 Congregation for Catholic Education, The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millenium 18.35 Congregation for Catholic Education, The Catholic School 6036 Congregation for Catholic Education, The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millenium 1217